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Getting out this weekend. Where to go?
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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 10, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

This will be my first time climbing in the south since moving from Colorado back in January. I was thinking about heading up to Crowder's this weekend to check out some rock. Any suggestions as to the area?


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By David Barbour
From Longmont, CO
Apr 11, 2013

I wouldn't make Crowders your first trip...it's not exactly a destination crag. What kind of climbing are you trying to do?


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By AField
Apr 11, 2013

Others are better informed, but the bolted climbs graded less than 10+ are usually hard to find. There's lots of moderate trad at Rumbling Bald, but if the air is at all still at this time of year the bugs accumulate pretty fast. as its a warm, south-facing slope. If you're set on Crowders, be aware that the approach sucks, the rock is only really good on a few routes, and there is often a lot of people, being that its close to the Charlotte metro area.


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

Looking to do some easier sport probably. Maybe some easy trad as well. Got a rookie coming with me. Teaching them a little. Living in Spartanburg south Carolina so trying not to drive too far. Maybe 5.5-5.7 range.


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By David Barbour
From Longmont, CO
Apr 11, 2013

You moved to the wrong area for easy sport, unfortunately. I think there are <10 true sport routes under 5.7 in the entire state. Try the Route Finder, and know that climbs labeled "Trad, Sport" are mixed.

Sport:
mountainproject.com/scripts/Search.php?searchType=routeFinde>>>

Trad:
mountainproject.com/scripts/Search.php?searchType=routeFinde>>>


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By AField
Apr 11, 2013

There's 5.5-5.7 toprope at Crowders for sure. I think there's a few good TR/trad routes on the backside of David's Castle as well as Practice Wall. Pilot Mountain might be too far of a drive, but has harder sport, a couple 5.7 bolted leads and couple really good TR routes.


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

Moved here for school, not climbing. Thanks for the input. Just starting to get familiar with the area. I wouldn't mind doing some harder toprope. Just need to get my belayer familiar with techniques again. He has only been outside a few times.


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 11, 2013

specifically at crowders you should consider these:

Butterknife - 5.7 (or less) at the far end of red wall. maybe 4 bolts? Not in the guidebook and it might be on mp. It's not actually on red wall, but is slightly connected to it.
Electra - 5.10c - too hard for what you're looking for, but if it's empty it's worth a go. Probably the best 10 at crowders. at davids castle (or backside, I can't remember which is which).
Davids Castle wall has lots of top rope stuff that you'll have fun on in the 5.7-5.10 range, but there is a good chance it will be slammed if it's nice and you don't get there early. the nose is 5.5, oogachaka is 5.8 maybe? both can be tried off the same rope and the nose sucks, but oogachaka is great.
Practice wall has a few okay easy routes, but is sure to be ultra crowded and since the weather just turned, you're likely to have "hikers" at the top yelling/throwing things down. Not to mention the bolted anchors are literally on a rock that children sit on. children that don't understand not to fuck with your stuff.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike down past red wall through the obvious "trail" and there are a few good <5.10 sport routes, though none of them are in the guide, and only a few are on mp. If you head down there, ask a local and they should be able to point you at some stuff. There is a 5.8/9 slab climb that's well bolted, a few kind of runout 5.8/9's, and then a few actually good newly re-bolted 10's. Ask around and you'll find.

Honestly though, crowders is not a good place for 5.5-5.9 sport. 5.10 and up is where it starts to be great fun. This isn't to say you won't have a good time. Go and be willing to take a risk. Lots of the mountain has pretty easy top access and bolts at the top, so drop and line and try something out.


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

I'll try about anything off a toprope. Just want my rookie to have a good experience. I'm all for being adventurous. Just don't want to get a rookie into a dangerous situation. I'm pretty sure he has the ability to go 5.8-5.9, but I like to start on something easy just to know he is comfortable outside. He's mostly been a gym climber. Thanks for all the beta so far. As long as the forecast is good, we are going to try and be out there somewhat early. Just want to get out on some rock and have an enjoyable day. Cheers!


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

One more question as I haven't thoroughly looked at specific routes. Will a 50m rope be sufficient in length?


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 11, 2013

Mike Smyth wrote:
One more question as I haven't thoroughly looked at specific routes. Will a 50m rope be sufficient in length?


There are at least a few routes where 50m will not work, but there aren't any where a 60 won't work. Luckily most of crowders is bolted pretty low, but I believe (though could be wrong) that practice wall and parts of davids castle are 80ft, where a 50m would be cutting it close.

As for being scared about your rookie climber, you can always climb harder stuff, lower on your draws, and have him follow/clean.


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

Unfortunately I left my 60 in Colorado with my girlfriend who also climbs and just have a 50 out here. I can work around it for now. I just didn't want to get out there and only have maybe 2 routes to choose from. Hopefully I will be able to invest in another 60 since I'm going to be out here another 3 years before heading back to Colorado. What would be the next closest to SC that is decent? Rumbling Bald? I also have family not too far from Pilot mountain and I believe it Hanging Rock? Moore's Wall? My study schedule limits me on how often I am going to be able to get out.


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 11, 2013

well you're definitely going to be losing a few routes, but not a ton. If you are feeling adventurous, you can absolutely find lots and lots of short moderates. I think if you feel comfortable climbing 10's, just have your second follow on tr.

here are specific climbs I'm referencing. I guess that some hard working nc climbers are adding stuff on mp now with actual pictures. All of these are past red wall (therefor, not in the book. to get to them, you literally walk past red wall and keep following the trail.

www.mountainproject.com/v/holy-guacamole/106246828
www.mountainproject.com/v/overhung-and-underrated/107312479
www.mountainproject.com/v/cromagnonnbullwinkle/107464669
(the only 5.10 move is the mantle, if you can do a mantle it's not a 5.10) - www.mountainproject.com/v/rawlhide/106246795

and here is butter knife, the easiest sport climb at crowders (one of the easiest in the state I'd guess): www.mountainproject.com/v/razors-edge-or-the-butter-knife/10>>>


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By AField
Apr 11, 2013

Mike Smyth wrote:
Unfortunately I left my 60 in Colorado with my girlfriend who also climbs and just have a 50 out here. I can work around it for now. I just didn't want to get out there and only have maybe 2 routes to choose from. Hopefully I will be able to invest in another 60 since I'm going to be out here another 3 years before heading back to Colorado. What would be the next closest to SC that is decent? Rumbling Bald? I also have family not too far from Pilot mountain and I believe it Hanging Rock? Moore's Wall? My study schedule limits me on how often I am going to be able to get out.

You mean sport climbing? Either Chattanooga or the Obed, outside of Knoxville. There are other small destinations, like Mt. Yonah, which I think have bolted lines. Trad climbing you have lots and lots of options between the Bald, Linville Gorge, Looking Glass, and the smaller crags like Crowders and Moores. SC only really has Table Mountain, which has adventure trad and aid I think, and bouldering. The bouldering, particularly along the Hwy 11 corridor is supposed to be good. Brad Caldwell is the person to ask about all that.


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 11, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

I was just referring to climbing in general. In Colorado Springs, I had 3 areas within 10 minutes of the house and 3 other areas within an hour of the house. I just want to get out and do a little climbing


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By Mike Smyth
From Spartanburg, SC
Apr 12, 2013
Stick clips can be very handy in this area to keep it a little safer

Change of Plans. Heading to Rumbling Bald. Thanks for all the Beta you provided thus far though


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